If you work in an environment with responsibility over the productivity, well-being and morale of team members, then you are a leader. I like to use team members and not employees because no one actually works for you, they work with you and in that, your actions may very well drive their results.
Leadership is influence. – John Maxwell
You may not want to lead, you may not be leading, but you are in a leadership role. The effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of what you do determines how great of a leader you are or will be. This is what we call influence. The outcome of what you input persuades the beliefs of what your team members can perceive as controlling or a team player. A controlling leader won’t get the most cooperative followers, which will produce a tension based work center among your members. Your goal as a leader is to create an environment that allows your team members to learn, grow and enhance their greatest potential. This is how we also create more leaders.
There are leaders and there are those who lead. – Simon Sinek
Team members want someone to lead the way. They want someone who is going to get their hands dirty with them. One of the hardest things to do is bring together a diverse group of strangers and build a fluid environment of effective leaders and followers that drive high quality results. It won’t happen right way, it may take months, maybe even years, but it can be done. Your role is to seek out the best in your team members and harness it into a culture of trust, reliability and productivity.
Here are 3 ways to help you become a leader who leads.
Know your team! Before you can play a game you must know your team member’s strengths and weaknesses. There are countless group activities that help identify each person’s influential traits. Find a way to learn about each person on your team. When you do this, team members begin to see that you’re not just there to ‘boss people around,’ but you’re there for them! Get to know your team!
Get your hands dirty! The difference between a boss and a leader is leaders don’t sit in an office all day telling people what to do. Leaders get involved with their team members. When they see you standing next to them, that shows them that you care, it shows them that you’re not above them. If you’re going to lead people, you must be there with people every step of the way. If they are getting their hands dirt, you should be getting your hands dirty.
Invest in their potential! Along side of knowing your team, it’s very important that you see potential in your team members. Most people will not realize the things they are great at. Leaders see this and can cultivate a way that allows each person to contribute that skill or skills. When team members feel like they are great at something, they tend to focus on doing what they know. Collectively if each member is good at a different skill, they can create a great superhero. This also allows each of them to become leaders in that skill and often end up teaching those around them that skill as well. Invest in their potential.